support for the self-employed

The government has announced a new Self-Employed Income Support Scheme to support those who work for themselves. Data from 2018/19 indicated as many as 66,000 people in Dorset could be directly impacted by these measures. 

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Last updated: 08 July 2020

Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS)
Self-employed individuals or members of partnerships whose business has been adversely affected by coronavirus can apply for a Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant. The scheme currently allows you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single installment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £7,500 in total.

If you’re eligible and want to claim the first grant you must make your claim on or before 13 July 2020.

Check if you are eligible for the scheme here.

This scheme is being extended, and you’ll be able to claim a second and final grant in August 2020.

HMRC will work out your eligibility the same way as the first grant. If you make a claim for the second grant you will have to confirm your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020.

This grant will be a taxable grant worth 70% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single installment covering a further 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total.

You can claim for the second and final grant even if you did not make a claim for the first grant.

The online service for the second and final grant is not available yet; the current guidance will be updated in due course to let you know when you can make your claim.

If you receive the grant you can continue to work, start a new trade or take on other employment including voluntary work, or duties as an armed forces reservist.

The grant does not need to be repaid but will be subject to Income Tax and self-employed National Insurance.

There is other support available if you’re not eligible for the grant. If you have other employment as a director or employee paid through PAYE your employer may be able to get support using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Self-employment Income Support Scheme FAQs are also available on the government website.

There is also further guidance available on ‘How HMRC works out trading profits and non-trading income for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme’ and ‘How different circumstances affect the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme’.

Free online coronavirus resource for self-employed
Chartered accountants and business advisors PKF Francis Clark have launched an online calculator to help the self-employed find out the help they can expect from the government’s Coronavirus Income Support Scheme.

The Prince’s Trust and NatWest Enterprise Relief Fund
The £5million Enterprise Relief Fund will offer grants to 18 to 30-year olds across the UK who are self-employed and/or running their own business. In conjunction with cash grants, the initiative will offer one-to-one support and guidance to anyone who needs it and who may be worried about their future.

Grants can be used to maintain core business operations during the crisis, as well as meet any existing financial commitments, such as paying for essential equipment or settling invoices from suppliers. Additionally, grants can also support you to diversify your business to respond to opportunities created by the crises.

If your business has been affected by Coronavirus but you are starting to open up again and need support to help you to do this, or perhaps to sustain your business through any ongoing reduced trading levels, this could be a great potential use of the grant.

Further information and application details are available here.